Elba Island, Toscana - Italian Villa Vacations
Elba Island, Toscana - Tuscany
The Island of Elba is the ideal location for sports enthusiasts and those seeking an active holiday. It offers the perfect combination: nature, sea and sport. With a distance of 10 km from the continent and a size of 224 kmq Elba is the biggest island of the Tuscan Archipelago and actually the third-biggest of Italy. A large part of the Elba Island and of the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago (Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri) are protected in the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. The climate is always mild with a middle annual temperature of ca. 16°; the average in winter is about 10° degrees, 14° in spring, 23° degrees in summer and 17° degree in autumn. There are more than 70 beaches on the coastlines of the island, some very peaceful, others more crowded.
Elba is well connected with the Tuscan coast in Piombino. A ferry takes 50 minutes to reach Portoferraio, main center of the island. Timetable depends on the season. In high season, almost every hour. Piombino is about 2 hours from Florence (motorway connections), a daily excursion in the city or in the tuscan inland is also possible. Elba is also accessible by plane flying directly to Marina di Campo that is served in summer by airlines out of Milan, Rome, and Pisa in Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Munich, Germany; and Vienna, Austria. Rental of a car on the island can be arranged on request.
Elba, onetime home-in-exile to Napoleon, has been largely ignored by English-speaking tourists. The Island is graced with a countless variety of beaches-- from rocky coves to pebbled inlets to sandy beaches. The water is cool, refreshing, and clear. Monte Capanne 1.018 meters, the island's highest peak, provides hikers with a panoramic view of the mainland of Italy and the islands of Corsica, Capraia, Pianosa and Monte Cristo. Its forests and mountain trails attract hikers and mountain bikers while stables offer guided rides through the hills. Elba has been inhabited as early as the 10th century BC by the Greeks then, through the centuries was conquered by the Etruscans, the Romans, the Normans and the Saracens. In 1802 it was annexed to France and in 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled here under the Treaty of Fontainebleau and left behind many marks, including two residences which are now open to tourists.